Vietnamese Cuisine Recipes

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Lemongrass Tofu with Daikon Recipe

Lemongrass Tofu with Daikon

03.12.12 by Jackie

Lemongrass is a wonderfully fragrant herb. If prepped and cooked properly, it adds not only flavor but also a great texture to vegetables, meat, fish or tofu.

I used the lemongrass in this dish as a coating for the tofu (tàu hũ xào xả). Daikon radish (củ cải trắng in Vietnamese) provides contrasts in both texture and flavor. I think the way the daikon is cut dramatically changes the texture of the dish. By cutting it into thick strings, the daikon cooks fast but remain slightly firm.

Note: Glossary of relevant Vietnamese cooking terms.

Tàu hũ = tofu

Xào = stir fry

Xả = lemongrass

Củ = root

Trắng = white


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Muop Tau Hu Xao Recipe (Vietnamese Loofah and Tofu Stir-fry) Recipe

Mướp tàu hũ xào (loofah squash and tofu stir-fry) is a standard in Vietnamese vegetarian cuisine. Mướp (Vietnamese Loofah) is stir-fried along with tofu in black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce. The dish is seasoned with soy sauce and fried garlic. I also added straw mushrooms as a foil to the loofah. It's a very quick and easy dish I often make when I'm in a rush and I want a tasty, healthy meal.

Vietnamese loofah is a very common vegetable in Vietnam that is also used a lot in making canh ("soup" in Vietnamese) because of its natural sweetness and tender texture. You won't be disappointed by this, and if you like it, it’s easy to put together non-vegetarian versions.

 


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Bo Xao Xa Ot Recipe (Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef) Recipe

Bún thịt bò xào xả ớt (chile lemongrass beef noodles) is one of my favorite Vietnamese "casual" everyday meals. I like the way lemongrass is used to spice things up in this Vietnamese classic. Tender, boneless stir-fried beef is cooked with fresh lemongrass, freshly chopped chile peppers and onions. The meat is served in a bowl filled with cold vermicelli rice noodles, roasted peanuts, fresh vegetables (usually cucumber and pickled carrots), fresh Vietnamese herbs and soy bean sprouts. The entire dish is drizzled with mixed herbed fish sauce as seasoning.

The cooking time is very fast, and call me crazy but I love the sound of the sizzling pan. I stir-fried the beef, but on hotter days, you could also thread the meat into skewers and grill them.

Note: Glossary of relevant Vietnamese cooking terms.

Bún = noodles

Thịt = beef

Thịt = meat

Xào = stir fry

Xả = lemongrass

Ớt = chile


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Vietnamese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Tau Hu Cuon La Nho) Recipe

This recipe is the result of one of my many experiments. The plants in our garden are starting to sprout beautifully. We have a small grape vine, so I used the leaves as wrappers for some Vietnamese vegetarian appetizers called tàu hũ cuốn lá nho (grape leaf wrapped tofu).

If you want to make the dish truly authentic, you should use betel leaves, but I find this version served on occasion. Betel leaves have a peppery, slightly bitter taste and I think the grape leaves taste a lot milder. The choice of the filling is really up to you. I filled them with bean thread noodles, fried jicama, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and fresh soy bean paste (packed with protein).

Either way, they make the perfect snack or appetizers. They're healthy, tasty and packed with good nutrition.


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Vietnamese-Style Beef Salad Recipe Recipe

Though I live in a house full of vegetarians, once in a while, I enjoy a tender and juicy steak. I’ve been getting the urge lately, so I bought a sirloin steak to satisfy my cravings. This time around I marinated it in an Asian-inspired sweet and savory sauce. I combined sugar, coriander, chiles, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice; the ingredients are very common in Vietnamese cuisine.

The meat doesn't require a long marinating time, which I love. A quick sear and you’ll have a perfectly juicy steak. I let the meat cool to temperature, then slice it into long strips against the grain, so the meat remains tender. The beef is scattered over a bed of mixed Vietnamese mint, cilantro and lettuce leaves, along with a bowl of rice vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, shredded cucumber and pickled carrots and daikon. My condiment of choice though: nước mắm (Vietnamese fish sauce). It may not be on your list, but it’s one of my favorites. No matter what you serve with this steak though, you will have a delicious meal!


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